Glenville State College has inducted five new members into the Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame. The class of 2009 includes: Hunter Jack Conrad, David L. Darst, Jr., Robert O. ‘Bob’ Hardman II, James ‘Dobby’ Laughlin, and Frank A. Vincent. The induction ceremony and banquet were held on Saturday, May 21st in the Mollohan Campus Community Center Ballroom.
Hunter Jack Conrad ’51 was inducted posthumously after passing away in the early morning hours of May 19, 2010 just a few days before the induction ceremony. Conrad was presented for induction by John Rohrbough, son of GSC’s legendary Coach Nate Rohrbough who told those in attendance of how Conrad was recruited to play basketball by Kentucky’s great Adolph Rupp, but he chose instead to stay home and play for GSC. “Throughout his life, GSC was always important to Jack, and he has always been important to this institution,” said Rohrbough.
Conrad was a native of Glenville and longtime former operator and co-owner of Glenville’s Conrad Motel. He was a powerful freshman basketball player winning all tournament honors on GSC’s 1941-42 WVIAC tournament team. He is also known for his record setting 49 points in the 1941 Glenville High School Class B state basketball tournament game. Jack married Mamie Jo Bush in September1942 and worked in Charleston’s war industries plant that fall prior to serving in the U.S. Army’s 79th Division from 1943-1945. He was twice wounded in France and medically discharged with the Purple Heart and Cluster. Upon returning to the states, Jack worked in the Conrad family restaurant and motel business from 1945-1948 and pursued his AB degree in Secondary Education from Glenville State College. While working on this degree, which he obtained in 1951, Jack became enrolled at WVU (1950-1953) and earned a MA in Educational Guidance in 1953. Then attending part-time, he earned a Secondary Principal’s certificate and a full Public Administrative certification. He began teaching at Morgantown High School in 1951, while a student at WVU, and later became Assistant Principal at the school. Jack worked in Student Services as a Guidance Counselor at Fairmont State College from 1961 – July 1973 when he took a leave of absence, at his parent’s request, to return to the family business in Glenville. In 1977, he went back into college administration at Potomac State College of WVU (Keyser, WV), first in Administrative Research and then as Registrar and Director of Admissions. Jack retired in 1985 and took over management of the Conrad Motel. The following year (1986), he became legally blind, due to Macular Degeneration. Jack received the GSC Alumni Association’s Alumni Service award in 1995, was Glenville High School’s Alumnus of the Year in 2005, and was inducted into Fairmont State University’s Student Services Hall of Fame in 2007. In July of 2008, Jack and his niece, Suzie Kidd Shipe, sold the Conrad Motel to Glenville State College with an agreement that he retain his motel apartment.
Jack and wife Jo (deceased) were parents of three children, Jack, Jr. (deceased), Stephanie, and Charlie. He had four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Several members of Jack’s family made a brief appearance at the banquet to accept the Hall of Fame induction on his behalf after attending his funeral earlier in the day. “We want you to know how excited and proud my father was to be inducted into the GSC Hall of Fame, and we thank you for giving him this honor,” said Jack’s son Charlie Conrad.
David L. Darst, Jr., a native of Point Pleasant, West Virginia was inducted for his accomplishments as a member of the Pioneer football and track and field teams. He was presented for induction by Jerry Milliken, former GSC Assistant Football and Track and Field Coach, and Vice Chair of the GSC Board of Governors. Darst had a single season quarterback sack record of 17, a career quarterback sack record of 38, and led his football team in tackles during his sophomore year. He was a four-time WVIAC All Conference selection in Track and Field, 3 year WVIAC Shot-Put Champion, and 3 year WVIAC Discus Champion. Darst is GSC’s Shot-Put record holder, GSC’s Discus record holder with heave of 157.10 feet, and WVIAC Conference Shot-Put record holder. He earned 9th place finish in Shot-Put at the 1985 National/NAIA Track and Field Championship and 2nd place finish in Shot-Put at the 1986 National/NAIA Track and Field Championship (with 56.4 feet). He won NAIA All-American Shot-Put honors in 1986 and received GSC’s prestigious Frank Montrose Award in 1987. “I was fortunate to be at Glenville State College during a time when we had some great athletes, excellent coaches, and very good teams. GSC afforded me the opportunity to play the two sports I loved, football and track and field,” said Darst.
Darst holds a Master plus 30 from Marshall University and presently teaches Physical Education at Pt. Pleasant High School where he is head football coach and assistant track coach. He has coached track for thirteen years and was previously head coach for seven of these years. Darst was also wrestling coach for twenty years and coached baseball one year and softball one year.
He and his wife, Brenda, are parents of one daughter, Alissa, who attends Alderson Broaddus College on a softball scholarship. They also have one son, Anthony, who is a sophomore at Pt. Pleasant High School and plays football for his dad.
Also inducted was Glenville, West Virginia native Robert O. “Bob” Hardman II. Hardman graduated from Glenville State College in 1975. He was a four year starter in football for Coach Bill Hanlin and Whitey Adolfson. He played basketball for Jesse Lilly and Tim Carney and participated in the newly re-established track program under Coach Hanlin. He was the last three sport player at GSC. Hardman played both defensive end and line backer in football and was a member of the 1973 NAIA National Runner-Up Team. He was elected co-captain of the football team his senior year (1974) and received the College’s prestigious Montrose award in 1975. He served as assistant men’s basketball coach under Head Coach Gary Nottingham during the 1989-1990 season. “I was shocked to learn that I was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I am certain that there are many others who are as worthy, or even more so than me. During my Pioneer career, I simply tried to contribute to the team. I dedicate this honor to all of my teammates and coaches who made my time here so special,” said Hardman.
After graduation, Bob was a nineteen-year sports official, officiating both football and basketball on the high school level and women’s basketball and football in the WVIAC. He was a member of Jack Prettiman’s officiating team in the WVIAC, which was regarded as one of the WVIAC top officiating crews. Additionally he was the referee in several West Virginia high school football playoff games before going inactive and later retiring from officiating. He was also the clock operator for football and basketball for both Gilmer County High School and Glenville State College for several years.
As a charter member and past president of the Glenville Jaycees, he helped re-established the little league and Babe Ruth baseball program. He coached little league and Babe Ruth baseball, elementary basketball, Gilmer County middle school and freshman football and basketball. He is a Charter member of the GSC End Zone Club (now the Pioneer Athletic Club).
Hardman was CFO and Office Manager of Trio Petroleum from 1975-1987 and Assistant Vice President of Business Development and Marketing and Sales as well as Branch Manager of CB & T’s Glenville Branch from 1988-1992. He came to GSC in November 1992 as the College’s CFO and Business Manager and presently serves as the College’s Executive Vice President for Business and Finance. Hardman is Past President of the West Virginia Association of Higher Education Fiscal Officers, Past Master of Gilmer County Lodge No. 118 of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of the Scottish Rite Masons, Royal Arch Masons, and Shriners. Additionally, he is past president of Glenville Lions Club and Associate Patron of Glenville Chapter No. 90 Order of Eastern Star.
He was presented for Induction by his father; Robert O. “Hooks” Hardman (1951) a 2001 Inaugural Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee. “It is especially rewarding that I now share this unique honor with my father,” he said. Bob and his wife Susan Morris Hardman live in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He has two children: son Robbie (deceased), daughter Hillary Lancaster, and one granddaughter Lilli Lancaster.
Inductee James ‘Dobby’ Laughlin is a native of Ravenswood, West Virginia. He graduated from Glenville State College in 1951 lettering in football and baseball. He played at WVU for one year before transferring to Glenville where he played three years of football and baseball. Laughlin was an All-Conference back on the 1950 All-WVIAC football team. He was tied for team scoring honors that season with 18 points. He was a two-time All WVIAC selection in football and in baseball. He was named to the WVIAC All Time All Conference Team in 1975. “The decision I made to transfer to Glenville was one of the Best decisions of my life. The education I received from Glenville State College has served me well throughout my life,” said Laughlin.
Laughlin served one year as assistant football and baseball coach at Ripley High School and then coached football and baseball at Clifton Forge (Virginia) High School (1952-1955) winning the state conference title with an undefeated and unscored upon season in 1954. He coached football at Martinsville (Virginia) High School before moving to administration first as a principal and later as a superintendent (Allegheny County Virginia schools) for twenty years before retiring in 1986. He holds a Master in Administration and Elementary Education from Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina and received additional hours at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Laughlin served twice as Interim City Manager for the City of Clifton Forge, Virginia. Additionally he was Recreation Director for the City of Martinsville, Virginia from 1956-1959. A WWII veteran, he served the Navy in the South Pacific (Guam) before coming to GSC.
He and his wife, Mary Ann, reside in Clifton Forge, Virginia. They have one son, Reid, daughter-in-law Sheila, and two grandchildren (Jacob and Zac Laughlin). Reid Laughlin presented his father for Induction into the Hall of Fame.
Although he was unable to attend the Induction Banquet due to illness, Frank Vincent, a native of West Newton, Pennsylvania was also inducted. Vincent is a 1955 graduate of Glenville State College lettering in football. As an All WVIAC conference center and linebacker for the Pioneers, he played for coaches Joe Hall and Nick Murin, was a three-time All WVIAC selection, and was drafted by the Pittsburg Steelers. Well-known in West Virginia and throughout the region for his coaching accomplishments, Vincent coached at Charleston High School for eighteen years and led them to three consecutive State Championships in 1968, 1969, and 1970 (a record), while compiling a 101-74-4 record at CHS. He was named Coach of the Year in 1968, 1969, and 1970 (another record). Coach Vincent returned to his alma mater in July 1980 as head football coach and held this position for seven years before moving his family to Stafford, Virginia where his daughter could be closer to medical care.
Vincent holds a Masters Degree in Physical Education from West Virginia University and a Masters Degree in Industrial Safety from Marshall University. He is married to the former Jo Ann Spicer, a Gilmer County native and Glenville State College alum. Their only child, Jennifer, passed away on January 27, 2010.
Vincent was presented for induction by one of his former players and current GSC Head Football Coach Alan Fiddler. “I Talked with Coach Vincent this week, and he was very excited to be selected for the Hall of Fame. He has always been very passionate about GSC. As players, we sometimes loved Coach and other times not so much, but we always respected him. I am honored to have played for him.” said Fiddler.
Plaques of each member of the Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame are displayed in the lobby of the GSC Physical Education Building. The Curtis Elam Hall of Fame was established in May of 2001 through the generosity of Curtis Elam, a 1949 graduate of Glenville State College.